Yanqing Great Wall | Long views of Great Wall in the Yanqing mountains
Long views of Great Wall in the Yanqing mountains.

Yanqing Great Wall and Fangkou Village

Explore a rough and wild line of Great Wall in the Yanqing hills and then hike out along hills trails to finish at a small village.

Level 4
Some places slippery and tricky. 4–5 hours start to finish over 10km+ (Can I do it?)

This hike is not currently scheduled

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This trail follows the first half of a Level 5+ hike we like to do, but due to difficulties for our bus to get through the villages at the other end we’re going to take a turn in the middle to hike out on a freshly-scouted trail and finish at a (hopefully!) more accessible village. This is going to give us a look at some of the older Ming Dynasty-era Great Wall in Beijing, without quite as much of the hard work as the Level 5 version.

This first part of the day’s hike will have us following the Great Wall from west to east as it rolls over hills and ridges; there will not be much flat walking. Many sections are quite dilapidated, so we will detour around these on paths that cross terraces and fields that are worked by local farmers. Looking north, we should have a good view of the Guanting reservoir; looking west we’ll see the Big Camp Plate Great Wall; and way off on a distant peak to the east we may be able to spot the High Tower.

Hiking a grassy trail by the Great Wall in Yanqing District, Beijing
Hiking a grassy trail by the Great Wall. (Click for larger image)

The wall in this part of the mountains is built on high ridges, and because we’ll be on some of the highest of these we’ll get great views of long stretches of Great Wall as we’re walking. Other interesting sights include several round watch towers, a tower made from mud bricks, a ‘water pass’ with extremely steep sections of wall on either side, as well as mysterious valley paths, apricot orchards, a range of vegetation, and a radar station on a far peak.

After going on and off the Great Wall for a few hours the trail will take us up to a bluff which is wrapped by the wall. It’s one of the high points of the hike, and on a clear day the views are spectacular. We’ll stop here for our lunch break.

After lunch we’ll hike just a little bit farther on the wall, and then we’ll get on to trails through the hills that lead down into a valley village. (Exact track to be determined by a scouting trip this week.) The valley village has a mix of houses: some new, fixed up for weekend visitors; and some a lot older, with bricks that look suspiciously similar to those used to build Ming Dynasty-era Great Wall.

We’ll find our bus near the village entrance, have our regular Beijing Hikers hikers picnic, and then head on back to Beijing.

Because of the COVID-19 situation we have some extra terms and conditions for participation.

In particular:

  • DO NOT participate if you are sick or showing symptoms of fever and/or have an elevated temperature, or have been in close contact with someone who was.
  • DO NOT participate if you have not completed any required quarantine after your return to Beijing.
  • You MUST agree to the mitigation and prevention measures outlined here and that Beijing Hikers will not be held responsible if any participants become sick.

Please read in full here: Operating hikes under COVID-19 precautions

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Photos and trip reports: Yanqing Great Wall and Fangkou Village

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